The IPL is the world’s richest and most famous T20 league. Right since its inception in 2008, the Indian Premier League has had his fair share of controversies to go with the quality cricket on display. An abundance of the hullabaloo is perhaps a fitting way to describe Lalit Modi’s brainchild. While top class cricket is no doubt at the heart of the billion dollar brand, controversies knowingly or unknowingly has helped raise the IPL’s profile by leaps and bounds.
Here are the Top 5 controversies in the IPL.
1. CSK, RR suspended from IPL for 2 years – spot-fixing scandal
Star-studded Chennai Super Kings and inaugural champions Rajasthan Royals were suspended from the IPL for two years by the Lodha Committee in July last year thanks to their key officials Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra taking part in spot-fixing activities. Meiyappan and Kundra were also banned for life in a bid to clean up the big-ticket tournament hit by a barrage of fixing controversies.
2. Spot fixing controversy – Sreesanth, Chandila tainted
In the sixth edition of the IPL, sport fixing again popped up its ugly head when Delhi Police caught three Indian players – Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, and Ankeet Chavan were caught indulging in spot fixing and were jailed subsequently; Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of N Srinivasan was also jailed after investigations from Mumbai Police found him guilty of spot-fixing.
Tamil Nadu Police later found some Indian players such as MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina having links with bookies, but there has been some relief for the Indian duo on that front. CSK and RR have since been suspended for two years for their involvement in spot-fixing.
3. Lalit Modi sacked unceremoniously
Former IPL Chairman and founder of the billion-dollar tournament Lalit Modi was sacked by the Board in 2010 after allegations of fraud and mismanagement of funds came to light. Modi was shown the door by the BCCI after the third edition of the tournament which was mired in controversies of fraud on the part of the former IPL Supremo.
4. Shah Rukh Khan embroiled in a fight at Wankhede
It is a well-known fact that controversy follows Shah Rukh Khan wherever he goes, and the Kolkata Knight Riders owner was involved in a brawl with security personnel at Wankhede Stadium in 2012. It is alleged that the superstar hurled abuse at the security staff when they asked him and his entourage to leave the ground as it was against the rules.
Shah Rukh later revealed that he lost his cool because the security personnel misbehaved with his kids and he was trying to defend his kids. The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) banned Shah Rukh from entering the stadium premises for five years, but the ban was lifted later.
5. Harbhajan – Sreesanth slap gate
The image of Sreesanth crying like a baby was flashed all over the news channels and in all fairness, remains arguably the fast bowler’s most eye-catching achievement on the cricket field. The Harbhajan – Sreesanth slap gate incident occurred in the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008 when Harbhajan Singh allegedly slapped his former India teammate after Mumbai Indians’ defeat to Kings XI Punjab. Although the exact reason for their conflict is not known to many, Harbhajan later apologised for the incident and had to pay 50% of his match fees for that season as a fine. The incident represented a new low for Indian cricket and more significantly, the spirit of the game.